First United Presbyterian Church, photo submitted 1984
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First United Presbyterian Church
309 Lyon Street, Sault Ste. Marie - Chippewa County
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Romanesque
Architect/Builder Edward DeMar
Significant Person Henry R. Schoolcraft
Charles T. Harvey
Jeremiah Porter
Narrative Description The First United Presbyterian Church is a large, Romanesque Revival structure of red Jacobsville sandstone. The building's main section consists of a square auditorium, crowned by a high hip roof, which is fronted by two towers, square in plan, jointed by a relatively low, rectangular block which projects from the main body of the church. The towers have pyramid roofs and flared eves. The roofing material of the towers and main building is metal simulated tile painted green. A green-painted, metal cornice, which resembles an arched corbel table, tops the pilasters of each tower. Between the towers is an arcade-like facade housing three tall, round-head windows. A molded wood belt course spans the entire facade, running above the entrances located at the base of each of the towers. On the interior, the church's broad auditorium has a central pulpit with the choir and organ behind it, and a deep horseshoe-shaped gallery. Modern brick and cement stairways have been added to the front facade. An educational and administrative wing, constructed between 1957 and 1958, is attached to the rear of the church.
Statement of Significance The First United Presbyterian Church, home of the First United Presbyterian congregation in Sault Ste. Marie since 1903, is an outstanding example of turn-of-the-century auditorium church design in Michigan and associated with the historic Presbyterian congregation in the Sault. The church is also a significant work in the career of Sault Ste. Marie architect Edward Demar. The First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1832 under the Reverend Jeremiah Porter who came to the Sault in 1831 at the request of Federal Indian agent Henry Schoolcraft to minister to the soldiers at Fort Brady. The church declined after Porter's departure, but was revived again in the 1850s through the efforts of Charles T. Harvey, who was also primarily responsible for the construction of the Soo Locks.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) Built 1903
Registry Type(s) 12/27/1984 National Register listed
Site ID# P22853